Baroness Ros Altmann is an award-winning expert on later life issues, including pensions, long-term investment, finance, retirement planning and elderly care policy. She is an academic economist by training and was an institutional asset manager, heading up international pension investing for Chase and Rothschilds in London, before starting her own consultancy advising financial firms, pension funds, corporates, Governments and policymakers on pensions, investment and later life policies. She was UK Pensions Minister and now sits in the House of Lords and is a Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics.
Ros was awarded a CBE in 2014 for services to pensioners and pension provision after her long career in the industry and was Director-General of Saga Group, the over 50s specialists from 2010 to 2013, She became the UK Government’s Business Champion for Older Workers from 2014 to 2015 and was Minister of State for Pensions from 2015 to 2016.
For over forty years, Ros has worked with Governments, corporates, trustee boards, regulators and industry bodies and is well-known for her thought leadership as an expert voice on all aspects of pensions and later life policy. She is an experienced pension fund trustee, Non-Executive Director, has chaired public and private corporates, academic institutions and charities, including chair of investment and audit committees. For example, she was chair of pension fintech firm pensionsync and chaired the Court Funds Office and Ministry of Justice Strategic Investment Board. She is a Board adviser to pension MasterTrust provider Cushon, Huntswood Group and social enterprise business SalaryFinance. She has a deep understanding of both provider and customer viewpoints and has championed the cause of older people on many issues.
Ros is a frequent media commentator on pension issues, regularly appearing on TV and radio, including BBC Radio4 ‘Today’ programme, You and Yours, World at One, BBC News at Ten, BBC Newsnight, Sky, ITV, Channel 4 and many international stations. She has also starred in various Panorama and ‘Tonight’ programmes. Her articles are widely published in the The Times, Financial Times, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, The Independent, Guardian, The Economist, New Statesman and is a sought-after keynote speaker of international renown. She has won numerous industry awards and honours including Pensions Personality of the Year (twice), Industry Guru of the Year, Women in Public Life Award, The Times ‘Business Bigshot’, and one of the UKs top 50 Most Influential People in Pensions.
She has been involved in many initiatives to highlight financial injustice and help ordinary people who face difficulties with financial issues. The most high profile was the successful multi-year ‘Pensiontheft’ campaign which Ros spearheaded – totally unpaid – to achieve compensation for 150,000 workers who lost their final salary company pensions after being falsely assured by the Government that their pensions were completely safe, This led to the establishment of the Financial Assistance Scheme and the Pension Protection Fund. She also campaigned for compensation for the hundreds of thousands of Equitable Life victims. She was successful in highlighting the injustices of the UK annuity market and exposing the consumer detriment suffered by people buying unsuitable and irreversible annuity products. This contributed to the ending of automatic annuitisation for millions of future pension savers.
Ros started her career as an academic economist at University College London, where she obtained a First Class honours degree in Economics, moving on to study and teach at Harvard University as a Kennedy Scholar, where she published several pension papers. She then gained her Ph.D. in Economics at London School of Economics while teaching and publishing on occupational pensions, retirement and pension policy.
She moved into the City, to manage pension fund portfolios, insurance assets and mutual funds, as well as advising central banks and private client fund managers. She headed up Chase Manhattans’ International Equity Investment Operation in London, and was a Board Director at Rothschild Asset Management and NatWest Investment Management.
After having her third child she established her independent consultancy specialising in pensions policy and investment-related issues both from a practical and policy perspective, she was asked by the UK Treasury to set up the Myners Review of Institutional Investment and advised the Number 10 Policy Unit on pensions and annuity issues. Her consultancy work included helping pension fund trustees modernise their investment strategy and asset managers to understand the needs of UK pension trustees. Since 2010, she has also been advising on social care policy, working with Government, charities, industry groups and official review bodies.
Ros was awarded honorary Doctorates by the University of Westminster and University of Nottingham. She is Emeritus Governor of LSE, having also been a non-executive director and Chaired its Investment Committee for many years. She is also a Governor of the Pensions Policy Institute and an adviser to the International Longevity Centre.
Her blog is at pensionsandsavings.com if you want to keep up to date with her latest views.